The prognostication continues as we race towards the August camp weeks ahead. And, like many expert predictions for the Big Ten, the polls of experts at Cleveland.com do not have high hopes for Iowa football this Fall.
The poll of 38 Big Ten writers did not include one that had the Hawkeyes winning the Big Ten West, and heading to Indianapolis. Wisconsin was the favorite pick of the group to win it, and Northwestern and Nebraska also were chosen.
Surprisingly, only 4 of the 38 voters had the team out of the west winning the title game. 29 of the voters not only had Ohio State going to the title game, but winning it.
Heisman contender Saquon Barkley of Penn State was the clear leading vote getting for Offensive Player of the Year. But, what came of a shock in this vote was the absence of running back Akrum Wadley, who didn’t receive a single vote. Wadley returns for his senior season behind a top caliber offensive line, and will be featured early and often. The last Hawkeye to get the offensive honor was running back Shonn Greene in 2008 when he became a unanimous All-American, and also won the Doak Walker Award nationally.
Perhaps the question marks around the quarterback position, or the newly added graduate transfer James Butler have the experts questioning what Wadley can do this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Hawkeyes linebacker Josey Jewell got the most first-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year. Although, Ohio State defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis got two more points in the voting.
Jewell has racked up the preseason awards this Summer, and has a chance to go down as one of the best Hawkeyes linebackers in program history. No Hawkeye has won the award on defense since defensive lineman Leroy Smith was voted in by the coaches in 1991.